A year after they officially earned their degrees, Wilkes University will honor the Class of 2020 during Commencement at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 22 in the McHale Athletic Center at the University Center on Main. The ceremony, originally scheduled for May 2020, was postponed (twice!) due to the global pandemic. This weekend’s ceremony is a fulfillment of the promise Wilkes leaders made to hold an in-person ceremony for the members of this very special class.
With health and safety top of mind, News@Wilkes is highlighting how the ceremony will work. Here are 10 NEW things to know about the Class of 2020’s long-awaited commencement.
- Approximately 130 graduates are expected to participate. They are among the more than 700 individuals who earned doctoral, master’s and bachelor’s degrees last May.
- Each participating graduate was issued four tickets to the ceremony, meaning about 800 graduates and guests will be in attendance. This is well below the venue’s more than 4,000-person capacity.
- For those who cannot attend in person, the ceremony will be live streamed at wilkes.edu/commencement.
- Before the ceremony, the traditional procession of graduating students led by bagpipers will process from the Arnaud C. Marts Sports and Conference Center, past the John Wilkes statue, to the McHale Athletic Center.
- Degrees for the class were officially conferred by Paul Adams during a virtual ceremony in May 2020. Adams, current vice president of student affairs, was serving as interim president of the University at the time. He was joined by Terese Wignot, interim senior vice president and provost, near the John Wilkes statue for a brief virtual ceremony honoring the class.
- As a tribute to his leadership and service during the pandemic, Adams will present each graduate with their degree during Saturday’s ceremony.
- This will be the first commencement attended by Wilkes University’s seventh president, Greg Cant. Cant joined Wilkes in June 2020 and has spent the last year getting to know the campus community (virtually, of course).
- Since graduates were mailed their degrees last summer, they will be presented with a ceremonial diploma at Commencement.
- Graduates were provided Wilkes face masks, imprinted with the University seal, that match their graduation robes. Masks are required in all indoor spaces on campus.
- Cody Morcom, a 2020 pharmacy graduate, will also deliver remarks. Morcom is now a captain in the United States Air Force working as a pharmacist at Dover Air Force Base.
Congratulations to all the graduating Colonels! Read more about the Class of 2020 here.